Arguably the biggest fan favorite on the Yankees fully intends to be a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.
Right fielder Nick Swisher is in the final year of a three-year contract and hasn’t even spoken about an extension with the club.
And he won’t until the season is over thanks to general manager Brian Cashman’s policy of not negotiating contracts during the season.
“The Yankees aren’t traditionally an organization that does do multiyears in the middle of a contract,” Swisher told reporters before Saturday’s first full-squad workout. “They are a team that, you’re going to have to test the free-agent market. You’re going to have to because that’s how the Yankees work.”
Swisher said he would like to stay with the Yankees if possible, but knows that it is “out of my hands.”
Swisher batted .260 last season, but had a .374 on-base percentage — the highest in his time with the Yankees. He hit 23 home runs and drove in 85.
The Yankees picked up Swisher’s $10.25 million option for this season, but it’s unlikely a deal would be that high in the future for a player that will be 32 next season.
Then there is the matter of his postseason failings. Swisher has been remarkably consistent in the regular season. He’s been consistently bad in the playoffs.
He was 4-of-19 with one home run in the team’s losing effort against Detroit last year. He’s batting .160 in exactly 100 postseason at-bats for New York.
Swisher said he re-dedicated himself to getting in better shape during the offseason. He worked out at Pro Athletes Sports Performance in California and is down to about 200 pounds.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.